City opens 4 new sites for non-potable water pickup

One of the 'hot spot' sites being excavated for repairs is pictured along 16th Avenue N.W. near Edworthy Park. (Monty Kruger/CBC - image credit)

City of Calgary officials announced Sunday that four new sites have been opened to provide city residents with non-potable water for use on gardens and indoor and outdoor plants — one location in each quadrant.

The new sites are located at Spyhill landfill in the northwest, the Genesis Centre in the northeast, Ambrose University in the southwest and Bishop O'Byrne high school in the southeast.

Residents must bring their own containers and are limited to 25 gallons or 100 litres of water per person.

These water pickup sites are in addition to the two earlier sites set up by the city at the West Baker Park and Ogden boat launches.

The city also announced that the stretch of 16th Avenue, between Home Road and 49th Street N.W., that had been restricted to two lanes by the water main repair work, has now been completely reopened.

Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Deputy Chief Coby Duerr said at Sunday's regular news briefing that once the work on the original site of the water feeder main break was completed last week, the city was able to repave the road.

When a final inspection on Saturday showed no signs of damage, the stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway was reopened.

"This is a milestone and will ease traffic somewhat as vehicles can now go westbound, as well as the two eastbound lanes that reopened earlier this week," said Duerr.

He added that the road closure in the active repair zone remains in effect until the remaining repairs are complete.

Repair work on schedule

Repairs on multiple sections of the water feeder main that transports the majority of the city's water have been underway for more than two weeks, since an initial catastrophic break occurred on June 5.

An update on the state of the repair work was given by Michael Thompson, the city's general manager of infrastructure services.

Thompson said work on the one section of water main that is being reinforced, rather than replaced, is proceeding well. The reinforcing steel was installed on Friday and Saturday and the concrete pour was completed Saturday evening.

Once the concrete cures, the forms will be removed and the area will be backfilled. Thompson said that work will be completed over the coming week.

For the other four sections of pipe requiring replacement, Thompson said the installation of the adapters and the associated welding is nearing completion.

New segments of steel pipe will start to arrive on site later Sunday and the welding of the new segments of steel pipe to the adapters should start at that time.

Water usage lowest in 3 days

Officials reported that Saturday's water use for the Calgary area was 451 million litres, which is the lowest it has been in three days.

To date the city has received 2,528 calls for water misuse, the majority of those have been resolved. The city has issued 15 violation tickets.

A total of 196 calls have been received for violations of the city's fire ban, which remains in effect. There have been 20 written warnings, 78 verbal warnings and five violation tickets have been issued.

Both Thompson and Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the city is still on track to meet its expected repair completion date.

"I'm happy to report that it looks like that July 5 timeline is still well in hand," said Gondek.

The mayor will host a livestream update on the water main repairs Monday at 8:30 a.m.